A Monday deadline imposed on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to resign by his own ruling party passes with no word from the leader, setting up for formal impeachment proceedings in parliament. Matthew Larotonda reports.
A Monday (November 20) deadline for embattled Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to resign has passed with no word from the ruler --under house arrest by the military. The ultimatum was imposed by his own ruling party which has removed him as its leader. Now it appears the country's parliament is setting up a formal impeachment process to legitimize the military action. That as political sources tell Reuters an outright coup would be condemned internationally. None of this was apparent in a confusing televised address by Mugabe on Sunday (November 19). He even claimed he'd preside over an upcoming party congress, as if he was still their boss. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ZIMBABWE PRESIDENT ROBERT MUGABE, SAYING: "The congress is due in a few weeks from now. I'll preside over its processes." Hundreds of thousands flooded the capital's streets celebrating his expected downfall the same day. CNN has reported that a resignation letter has been drafted by the president, citing anonymous sources. If he does step aside, it's not clear what that will mean for Zimbabwe's future. Mugabe's party says it wants to change the constitution to reduce executive power, a possible sign of moves toward a more democratic and progressive system. Yet the pick of former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as their new leader has cast doubt on that. His firing by Mugabe in favor of the president's wife sparked the current crisis. But Mnangagwa was also the head of state security during the 1980's during a crackdown that killed 20,000 people.